Press Release


Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management Chairman McCaul Releases Report on Drug Cartels and Hezbollah Terrorist Threat

Media Contact: (202) 226-8417

Report to be Subject of Subcommittee Hearing Tomorrow

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, released a Majority Staff report entitled “A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border,” detailing the Subcommittee’s findings regarding the increased presence of Middle East terrorist networks in Latin America and their growing relationship with drug cartels.

The report – a follow-up to a 2006 report by Subcommittee Chairman McCaul on the threat Mexican drug cartels pose to the Southwest border – documents increased operational control of Mexican drug cartels inside the U.S., their strategy to move illegal drugs, and the bloody turf wars that have taken place between rival cartels, as they struggle to control valuable trafficking corridors.

Furthermore, the report closely examines the increased presence and influence of Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America and their relationship with drug cartels, including:

·         Hezbollah’s known money laundering and major fundraising activities in Latin America;

·         documentation that shows a relationship between Hezbollah and Mexican drug cartels as early as 2005; and

·         the potential for Hezbollah operatives to use their alliances with the cartels to cross into the U.S. undetected through cartel-controlled smuggling routes across the Southwest border.

Subcommittee Chairman McCaul said: “Middle East terrorist networks that continue to plot against the United States are expanding their ties to Mexican drug trafficking organizations, better positioning themselves for a possible attack on our homeland. This report documents the increased presence of Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America and addresses the growing concern that terrorist organizations will exploit burgeoning relationships with Mexican drug cartels to infiltrate the Southwest border undetected.”

The full report is available HERE.

The report will also be a topic of discussion at a Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management hearing, entitled “A Line in the Sand: Assessing Dangerous Threats to Our Nation’s Borders.” The hearing will be held TOMORROW at 9 a.m. in 311 Cannon House Office Building.

Subcommittee Chairman McCaul said: “The Federal government needs to better address this threat and secure ‘America’s unlocked back door.’ In late 2010, DHS reported that it could respond to illegal activity along only 44 percent of the Southwest border, leaving 7,500 border miles inadequately protected. After this abysmal report card, DHS quickly abandoned this metric and has yet to implement another way to measure its progress in securing the border. The purpose of this hearing is to assess the findings of the Subcommittee’s report and develop potential solutions for the next Administration and Congress to help prevent a breach of our border security and avert the consequences that could result.”

WHAT:       Subcommittee Hearing: “A Line in the Sand: Assessing Dangerous Threats to Our Nation’s Borders”

WHEN:       9 a.m., Friday, November 16, 2012

WHERE:     311 Cannon House Office Building

                 **Live video feed will be available HERE

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available HERE.

Witness List:

Ambassador Roger Noriega
Visiting Fellow
American Enterprise Institute

Mr. Frank Cilluffo
Homeland Security Policy Institute
The George Washington University

Mr. Douglas Farah
Senior Fellow
International Assessment and Strategy Center

Mr. Marc Rosenblum, Ph.D.
Specialist in Immigration Policy
Congressional Research Service